Harry Redknapp praises tougher Gareth Bale

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Tottenham Hotspur manager Harry Redknapp believes Gareth Bale is benefitting from toughening up.

The wing-back scored both goals in Saturday's 2-1 victory over Stoke City, with his second strike a stunning volley into the top corner of the net.

Bale took the plaudits last season after finally emerging as a regular starter two years after joining the north London club from Southampton.

The 21-year-old Wales international is now regarded as one of the best left-sided players in the Premier League and Redknapp has saluted the improvement he has seen in the player during his near two-year managerial reign.

"Bale has grown up," he said."When I first came to Spurs, Bale was still a baby, he always seemed to be limping off the training ground every time he got touched.

"He realised he had to be tougher if he was going to make it in the Premier League and he has done that.

"Have I had to talk to Bale about mental toughness? A bit, yeah. I just said, 'Stop messing about with your barnet'.

"I said, 'C'mon Gareth, stop messing about with your hair'. He was always at it.

"I can't think of a better left-sided player than Bale.

"That left foot of his is amazing, he can run all day, he can head it, he's 6ft 2in. He has got everything.

"You couldn't even put a value on him now. Almost any club would want him."

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